Dr. Wendy Smooth

Professor
Political Science

My research and teaching focus on women’s experiences in political institutions and the impact of public policies on women’s lives. I am currently working on a book entitled, Perceptions of Power and Influence: The Impact of Race and Gender in American State Legislatures, which examines the impact of race and gender on the distribution of power and influence in U.S. state legislatures. Based on this research, I was awarded the Best Dissertation in Women and Politics by the Women and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association. I am particularly interested in the ways in which institutions preference gender and racial norms through their institutional arrangements, norms, preferences and day to day operating procedures.

In my courses, I address various public policies affecting women and girls including work/family and workplace diversity policies; empowerment for women living with HIV/AIDS; violence against women and girls; and welfare reform. My policy work is informed by my experiences as a senior research and policy associate with the Center for Women Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., which is the oldest feminist research and policy organization in the country. I continue to focus on public policies impacting women and communities of color as a faculty affiliate with the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity here at OSU.

I received both my Ph.D. in Political Science and Certificate in Women’s Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park. Before joining the faculty of The Ohio State University, I was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.